Want to find your ancestor in military records? Here is an efficient way to identify all military records on FamilySearch, and to narrow your search by collection. It is then easy to search within a single collection.
On the FamilySearch home screen click “Search” and then “Records” in the dropdown menu.
University Special Collections in the state you are researching
Territorial records can also be found on the county level sometimes
Here is a quick guide and links to the territorial papers available at the Family History Library:
State Department territorial papers, Arizona, 1864-1872, FHL film 1580035
State Department territorial papers: Colorado series, FHL film 1464017
Territorial papers, Idaho, 1863-1872 FHL film 1580038
Territorial papers of Montana, 1864-1872, FHL films 1602228 -9
State department territorial papers, Nevada, 1861-1864 FHL film 1491200
State department territorial papers: New Mexico, 1851-1972, FHL films 1580030-33
State Department territorial papers, Utah series, FHL film 491567
Interior Department territorial papers, Utah, 1850-1902, FHL films 1602234 -9
Territorial papers of Wyoming, 1868-1873, FHL film 1602230
Here are some published finding aids for territorial records:
Kvasnicka, Robert M. The Trans-Mississippi West, 1804-1912: A Guide to Federal Records for the Territorial Period, pts. I-IV (Washington, District of Columbia : National Archives and Records Administration, c1993-1996).
Chiorazzi, Michael. Pre-Statehood Legal Materials: A Fifty-State Research Guide, including New York City and the District of Columbia, 2 volumes (New York : The Haworth Information Press, 2005).
Some other good resources are:
United States, The public statutes at large of the United States of America / by authority of Congress (Boston : Little, Brown, n.d.)
United States. Congress. House and Senate Documents and Reports, United States Congressional Serial Set (Washington : U.S. G.P.O., n.d.).
United States. Congress, American State Papers, 38 vol (Buffalo, N. Y. : W.S. Hein, 1998)
Here is a re-post from the Family History Library blog. Go to the blog to learn about all the new features added to the online Family History Library Catalog. Those of you who use the catalog regularly will be pleased with what has been added back from the old version. Here is just one example:
FamilySearch has been digitizing the 3 million+ microfilms in the Family History Library. Every week new records are posted, and it seems to me they are progressing at a good pace. Eyeballing the list of collections from the United States it appears they have made vital records a priority.
Records for the Western States are being digitized and put online at a rapid pace, and it is an exciting time to discover more about your Wild West ancestors. Familysearch (www.familysearch.org) is leading the charge in access to free records. The content comes from over 3 million microfilms at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
I will be posting lists of records they have made available for Western States research, but check back often because each week new collections come online. Here are some great resources for California research:
A camera icon means a digital image of the actual record is available.
“Browse Images” means the collection has not been indexed yet, but it can be searched. Don’t let that scare you off. The collections are usually organized in a way – alphabetically or chronologically – that helps you find what you are looking for.
A number in the “records” column means the collection has been indexed and is searchable through the search template.
No camera icon means there are no digital images of actual records, but you will see an abstract of most pertinent information contained in the record.
And here’s a tip for you: Click on the column headings to sort by
2) Number of records in the collections
3) Date the collections were updated
This is handy if you just want to know when the latest additions to the collections were made, or what is completely new. You can also see which collections are the largest and which have recently been indexed.
I also like the California Death Index, 1905-1939. Did you know Ancestry.com only has the CA Death Index, 1940-1997? Most people don’t realize the Familysearch record goes all the way back to 1905. It is not indexed yet, but is arranged alphabetically. Here is what it looks like:
And Matilda Lurch is nearly as good a name as Millard Gooch, don’t you think? Good thing they didn’t marry!
To find these records on Familysearch.org, click on “Search“:
And at the bottom of the page click on “United States” and then California:
Stay tuned for lists of other states’ digitized records found on Familysearch. I know I have been blogging a lot about FS recently, but there is a lot going on there I want to share with you. Ahhh, so much to learn!